They make Birkenstock footwear in European sizes, meaning you must convert to US sizes to find your fit. Birks should have a bit of room in front for your feet as you walk—adding 0.25-inch to your measurement should suffice. Then use the straps to adjust the fit around your foot.
Purchasing a pair of Birkenstock sandals isn’t as straightforward as it may seem, especially if you aren’t familiar with European sizes. To help you out, we’re sharing our guide to the Birkenstock size chart with everything you need to know.
Birkenstock Size Guide
Because Birkenstock offers its shoes in European sizes, it can get confusing when shopping. We have a size conversion chart below to help you out:
Size Conversion Chart Women
|Birkenstock European Size||Length in Centimeters (cm)||Women’s US size|
|35||22.5||4 to 4.5|
|36||23||5 to 5.5|
|37||24||6 to 6.5|
|38||24.5||7 to 7.5|
|39||25||8 to 8.5|
|40||26||9 to 9.5|
|41||26.5||10 to 10.5|
|42||27||11 to 11.5|
To find your Birkenstock size, add 31 to your US women’s size. For example, if you wear a size 4.5, then adding 31 would show a size 35.5 in Birkenstock footwear.
Men’s Conversion Size Chart
|Birkenstock European Size||Length in Centimeters (cm)||US Men’s Size|
|40||26||7 to 7.5|
|41||26.5||8 to 8.5|
|42||27||9 to 9.5|
|43||28||10 to 10.5|
|44||28.5||11 to 11.5|
|45||29||12 to 12.5|
|46||30||13 to 13.5|
|47||30.5||14 to 14.5|
With men’s sizing, Birkenstock recommends adding 33 to your US size. This means that if your regular fit is a 10 US, then adding 33 will indicate a size 43 in Birkenstock men.
Birkenstock Kids Size Chart
|Birkenstock European Size||Length in Centimeters (cm)||US Kids Size|
|24||15||6 to 6.5|
|25||16||7 to 7.5|
|26||16.5||8 to 8.5|
|27||17||9 to 9.5|
|28||18||10 to 10.5|
|29||18.5||11 to 11.5|
|30||19||12 to 12.5|
|31||20||13 to 13.5|
|32||20.5||1 to 1.5|
|33||21||2 to 2.5|
|34||22||3 to 3.5|
Measuring Your Feet for Birkenstock Footwear
Measuring your feet for a Birkenstock size is a straightforward, four-step process. You’ll need:
- A tape measure with centimeters.
- A wall.
- Pen and paper.
- Socks (optional).
This is what you do:
- Find a wall and an uncarpeted floor.
- Place your heel against the wall with the measuring tape underneath it.
- Read off the results of your foot’s length from the longest toe. Add approximately 0.6 centimeters (0.25-inch) to your result to ensure you’ve got a little room in the forefront.
- Write the measurement down and consult the size chart for women or men above.
Birkenstock shoes are available in two different width sizes: regular and narrow.
Birkenstock’s regular width is equivalent to a US women’s C to D and D to EE for men. Its narrow sizes are comparable to an A to B for women and B to C for men.
If you wear socks with your Birkenstock sandals, wear them while measuring. This ensures you get the accurate size for the added thickness.
If you’re between sizes, Birkenstock recommends going with the larger size. Over time, your feet are likely to expand slightly, so choosing a larger size ensures you still have ample room.
Use the Birkenstock measurement template on its website. This helps you measure the length and width to find the perfect size.
How Birkenstock Should Fit
Birkenstock footwear is famous for being ultra-comfy. However, this is only if you get the right fit.
Finding a comparable size is only the first step. You should also consider how it fits your feet.
Proper fitting Birkenstock footwear allows up to 0.25-inch of room around the top of longest toe. Ensure that the arch support in the footbed follows the curves of your foot.
To check this, place your foot inside the shoe with your heel inside the heel cup. Your foot should fit within the edges of the shoe, without feeling too snug or too loose. Ensure that you have the additional 0.25-inch space at the front.
Don’t worry if they feel unusual at first—as you wear them, the arches on the footbed become less pronounced as the material conforms to your feet.
Tips for Fitting Sandals
Birkenstock footwear is famous for its straps, giving that hipster-ish vibe and proper fitting.
When fitting your sandals, check that the strap nearest to your toe is snug—not too narrow, as this will be uncomfortable.
The other bands should be loose enough to allow your heel to lift slightly away from the footbed while walking.
Check our review of the best women’s flip flop for wide feet if you require something wider.
Tips for Shoes and Clogs
When you fit clogs and shoes, stand on the footbed, and inspect the fitting. With Birkenstock shoes, the easiest way to do this is to take out the removable footbed. Place it to the side and rest your foot on top, as if you were wearing it.
Check that your longest toe doesn’t extend over the edge and that the arch supports follow your feet. Reinsert the footbed and try on the shoe.
If the size still feels a little off—wide or narrow—in width, then try a different fit. Birkenstock regular width sizes work well with wide feet—to a certain extent. If it continues to feel narrow, try a larger shoe.
If you’re buying Birkenstock shoes for your kids, it can be difficult getting the width right. Although, many report that the narrow width sizes are generally those that fit the best.
Do Birkenstock Run Big or Small?
Birkenstock designed its footwear to be roomy, but they run true to size. It’s not unusual for them to feel a little too big when you first try them on. However, you can always adjust the width using the straps.
Most people do fine with a regular fit. If your feet move from side-to-side excessively, even after you’ve adjusted the size, try a narrow width.
How to Break-in Birkenstocks
Birkenstocks need a short break-in period to ensure full comfort. So don’t fret if they feel less than super comfy the day you buy them. Here are some tips on how to break in your Birkenstock sandals:
- Start by unhooking the straps.
- Flex and bend the footbed of each shoe a few times to initiate the break-in.
- Step into the footbed with your heel comfortably in the heel cup.
- Close the straps, leaving room to allow your feet to move between the bands and footbed. It should be enough to fit a finger between them and your foot.
- Walk around your home, making sure that your longest toe doesn’t hit the edge of the footbed. If it does, consider a larger size.
- While you’re walking, ensure that your feet aren’t constricted. Sizing shouldn’t be too snug.
On the first day of wearing your Birkenstocks, limit the time to about 30 to 45 minutes. Your feet need time to adjust to the footbed, but if it hurts excessively before 30 minutes, remove them—it shouldn’t be painful.
The next day, increase the time to about one to two hours. Extend the time each week for two to three weeks to ensure full comfort.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Birkenstocks Comfortable?
Once broken into, and considering the sizing is correct, Birkenstocks are the essence of comfort. The unique, contoured footbed and the materials that conform to your foot make them some of the comfiest footwear.
That said, if you have excessively flat feet, the high arches on the footbed might be too uncomfortable for you. In such a case, you’re probably better off trying other regular sandals or a specialized footbed. Read more in our review of the best tennis shoes for flat feet.
Are Birkenstocks Good for Your Feet?
Birkenstock footwear has many benefits for your feet. Because of the pliable material, they mold according to your foot, creating a customized fit over time.
Although there are no studies to have proven this, many users claim that they helped in healing common foot problems. This includes bunions, calluses, general foot pain and ingrown toenails.
Most Birkenstocks come with an orthopedic insole, providing both cushioning and stability. However, they aren’t a cure, and if you suffer from serious foot issues, consult a podiatrist.
You can also check out our review of the best shoes for sciatica.
Are Birkenstock Unisex?
Most of Birkenstock sizing is unisex. Some styles are available where sizing is specific for women.
If you’re looking for female-specific Birkenstocks, consult the size chart for women. Otherwise, don’t worry too much about what’s labeled for men or women. The most significant difference is the style.
Why Are My Birkenstocks So Uncomfortable?
There can be several reasons your Birks are uncomfortable. For starters, it’s essential to get the correct size for your feet, both in length and width. Refer to the size chart for women or men above.
Allow your Birks a couple of weeks to break-in—the width is likely to expand slightly. However, during this period, they shouldn’t feel unbearably uncomfortable. If that’s the case, consider a different size or another brand altogether.
Consulting a Birkenstock size chart before purchasing a pair of their sandals is the best way to ensure you get the correct size. The brand makes its footwear in European sizes, meaning you’ll have to convert to your US size.
Birkenstocks are some of the comfiest shoes—each includes a contouring footbed and pliable materials. However, they require a break-in period for full comfort.
We hope you found our Birkenstock sizing guide helpful. Please leave a comment below.